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Heirs Chairman Elumelu Plans to Start Nigeria Commodities Bourse

Heirs Holdings Ltd., a Nigerian investment company with interests across Africa in banking, energy, real estate and agriculture, plans to set up a commodities exchange in the continent’s most populous nation.

The Lagos-based investor wants to acquire the state-owned Abuja Commodities Exchange when it is sold, Heirs Chairman Tony Elumelu said in an interview with Bloomberg Africa TV to be broadcast Dec. 14. If it’s unable to buy the exchange, Heirs Holdings will apply to Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission to set up one, he said.

Heirs Holdings, through its African Exchange Holdings Ltd. unit, has stakes in Kigali, Rwanda-based and Lagos-based National Association of Securities Dealers trading platform. The company, in collaboration with the Nigerian Grain Reserve Agency and the Agriculture Ministry, last month established an electronic warehousing system linking farmers and traders, part of the groundwork to set up a commodities exchange.

“We now have seven warehouses in the country,” said Elumelu, a former chief executive officer of Lagos-based United Bank for Africa Plc and current chairman of Transnational Corp. of Nigeria Plc, which has interests in hotels, oil exploration and agriculture. “From there, the next thing that is left is to have a formal market.”

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